March 25, 2012
On the final day of competition at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, the University of Minnesota scored 19 points and had seven Gophers earn All-America accolades at the Weyerhaeuser County Aquatic Center in Seattle, Wash. With 31 total team points, the Maroon and Gold finished the event in 24th place.
"I am really proud of all of the men," head men's and women's coach Kelly Kremer said. "They set out on a mission today to finish the meet and the season in a positive way, and they did a great job of that."
California won the event for the second-consecutive year with 535.5 team points, followed by Texas with 491 points, Stanford with 426.5 points, Arizona with 396 points and Michigan with 271 points to round out the top five.
CJ Smith, Kyler Van Swol, Mikey Ross, Zach Bolin, Derek Toomey, Ben Griggs and Hrvoje Capan each earned All-America Honorable Mention certificates, upping the Gophers' total of All-America accolades to 15 on the season.
Smith opened the finals with his first-career All-America honor in the 1,650-yard freestyle. The rookie notched a career-best time of 14:52.73 to place 13th overall and earn All-America Honorable Mention accolades.
Van Swol picked up his fourth-career All-America certificate with a 12th-place overall finish in the 200-yard butterfly. His time of 1:44.42 in the consolation final allowed the sophomore to register his second All-America Honorable Mention accolade of the season and he also became the first Gopher to advance to the finals in the 200 butterfly since 2001. In the preliminaries, Van Swol clocked a time of 1:44.24 to place 11th overall, which was the fastest time for a Gopher this season and the second-fastest time in program history.
Ross earned his first All-America accolade as a Gopher with a score of 347.90 in the platform diving consolation final, good for third in the B Final and 11th overall. He became only the ninth Minnesota diver all-time to claim All-America honors with his honorable mention accolade. In the preliminaries, Ross posted a score of 336.65 to place 11th and earn a spot in the consolation finals.
"CJ Smith, as a freshman, getting 13th in the 1,650 free was fantastic and Mikey scoring on platform was outstanding," Kremer continued. "Kyler Van Swol scoring individually in the consolation final of the 200 fly was just what we needed. Today was a great way to finish the meet."
The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Bolin, Toomey, Griggs and Capan placed 15th in the consolation final with a time of 2:54.85. Minnesota has earned All-America honors in the 400 free relay 11-straight seasons. The quartet advanced to the B finals with a time of 2:54.30 in the preliminaries, which was good for 13th place overall.
Bolin gathered his seventh-career All-America award and third of the Championships, while Toomey picked up his sixth all-time and his third of the season. Capan tallied his fourth-career accolade and third in as many days, while Griggs picked up his second honor of the year and of his career.
Gophers Receive CSCAA Scholar All-America Recognition
Both the men's and women's teams earned academic distinction from the coaches association.
Former swim coach Eckelkamp Passes Away
Gopher Athletics is saddened to learn that former assistant men's swimming and diving coach Steve Eckelkamp has passed away at his home on June 10, in Mount Juliet, Tenn.
LeBlang Takes Learned Leadership to Next Season
Junior diver Alan LeBlang discusses his leadership role for the upcoming season with GopherSports.com.